**First published January 2013 – bringing to the fore again given what’s been going on for some coachees**
Last year I invited you to reflect on your personal strengths, areas for development and something you struggle with that I could potentially address in my monthly Flourishing Female newsletters.
New to line management? Been doing it a while and not getting the best out of some of the people in your team? I produced these tips for getting the best out of different styles as part of a leader’s toolkit for a well-known brand. Whilst I’ve offered the tips as a dichotomy, we all know that line management isn’t that black and white and people fall on a spectrum and may move up and down it depending on the context.
I expect you’ve experienced that sicky-lurching-stomach sensation that accompanies a colleague’s unexpected criticism or undermining of you or members of your team. Last year I asked readers of my ‘Flourishing Female’ monthly newsletter about situations/skills they’d like me to explore in 2014; how to ‘be assertive’ and ‘keep it together in the face of criticism’ came up a number of times.
Had the women at the 4am opening of the Next sale not had enough of queuing, crammed car parks and overheating credit cards last month? Or had they simply not got round to making their ‘doing more interesting things’ and ‘saving money for things I actually need’ resolutions yet? This edition of Here’s a thought is written for every woman who’d rather say ‘Humbug!’ to sale shopping and resolutions in January. I propose a dose of gratitude instead.
This month as well as becoming very familiar with the inner workings of a high street bank and J22-28 of the M25 (all in the name of client delight) I started to get to know a remarkable young woman called Victoria who has been searching for a job for 18 months.
Nicky Dulieu (CEO of Hobbs) has called on women to be more authentic at work. Market research by her business found that one in three women prefer a male to a female boss because women ‘lack personality.’ I read it with a balanced view of humanity and thought ‘yes, yes, we must let our personality shine’ on the one hand and on the other, ‘oh no, that’ll be some poor so and so’s downfall!’
Had it not been for commitments in both our diairies last Friday afternoon, the impromptu call I had with a radio producer on the psychology of failure could have been a pleasingly long and philosophical one. (My musing this month isn’t on the well-trodden path of fear of failure though).
The average senior professional woman experiences 19 episodes of imposter syndrome in the first two years following a promotion and 4.2 per year in a role she’s acclimatized to. Actually, I made that up but it sounds reassuring, doesn’t it? Have you ever felt like an imposter? Believed you’re not really up to the role you’re in or the task that’s in front of you; that you’ve somehow bluffed your way so far or got lucky and then been wondering how you’ll cope when you’re exposed? No public admissions are needed from you but for what it’s worth I’ll hold my hand up to it.
The horse's mouth
“It’s been remarkable – a huge impact on my personal and professional life.” Nicky’s getting better results from her team, she’s confidently approaching difficult conversations and is fulfilling a secret ambition to write a book. Read how Agnes, Dani, Andrea and Emmy say they’ve benefited from a short spell of coaching.
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